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UN Tribunal: Prosecutor Submits Indictment In Hariri Probe

A poster of slain former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri hangs from a building still bearing the scars of Lebanon's civil war in Beirut.
The prosecutor of the Special Tribunal for Lebanon has submitted a confidential indictment against suspects in the 2005 murder of Prime Minister Rafik Hariri.

The Hague-based tribunal said in a statement that prosecutor Daniel Bellemare presented the documents, widely believed to implicate the Shi'ite militant group Hizballah, to the tribunal's registry today.

The documents will now be reviewed by the pretrial judge, Daniel Fransen, who has to confirm the charges before any arrest warrant or summons to appear can be issued.

The tribunal was created at Lebanon's request by a 2007 UN Security Council resolution to find and try the killers of Hariri, assassinated in a massive car bombing in Beirut on February 14, 2005.

Hizballah chief Hassan Nasrallah vowed on January 16 the group would "defend" itself against likely charges by the tribunal, which the group says is a tool of the United States and Israel.

The Shi'ite group withdrew from the Lebanese cabinet last week in protest against the ongoing UN-backed investigation, prompting the collapse of the unity government led by Western-backed Prime Minister Saad Hariri, son of the slain prime minister.

compiled from agency reports